Read The Crossing: Conquering The Atlantic In The World's Toughest Rowing Race by James Cracknell Free Online
Book Title: The Crossing: Conquering The Atlantic In The World's Toughest Rowing Race|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 994 KB
ISBN 13: 9781843545125
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Reader ratings: 4.6
The author of the book: James Cracknell
Date of issue: May 1st 2007
Read full description of the books:
Of the ocean rowing book experiences, this rates as one where there is the most focus on rowing. Very few others discuss the importance of boat weight on speed and the need to keep a grinding schedule if forward progress is to be made. By contrast, most other rowing experiences tend to end up being directed drifting, particularly for the solo boats. In this case there is the clear image of the intensity to actually row to set a speed. Only "The Naked Rower" comes close to having a character who is so focused on competitive rowing. It detailed the 1997 Atlantic challenge in which the author was in the winning pairs boat. The personality clashes and weather problems paralled very closely to the experiences here in the November 2005 corssing.
This book also gave more details about the Woodvale Challenge rules, such as the water ballast penalty, and how the association boats had trailed the rowing boats at night to confirm that no sails were being used. It mentioned aspects of required navigation, safety courses, equipment checklist, and equipment usage demonstration that I hadn't seen detailed before.
The physical consequences of the rowing and heat were more clearly exemplified here than in any other ocean rowing book. The capsizes, water-maker problems, water, and food shortages also top the list of accounting for these problems. The details concerning the water-maker were very interesting, as this seems to be a common problem on rowing boats and sailboats, and there are usually different reasons for the failure, but here the size and type of the water-maker is discussed.
The problems of the financial crunch to get on the water seem to be more clearly discussed than some of the other authors do. These guys also seemed to set a record for last minute preparations and had this been a work of fiction, there was a suspense in whether or not the boat would be allowed to get under way.
Other details given included the rule for crossing a specified finish line to qualify as a race finisher versus just completing an ocean crossing if that specific line segment is not crossed. I don't think that Roz mentioned the distinction of not having finished the challenge race, but just given credit for the ocean crossing.
It isn't clear what motivates these people to take on a financial and physical challenge like the Atlantic row. At the end of each book, the author has completed a narrative about the crossing itself and has usually stated some of the fears and outlooks during the crossing, but none have fully been able to explain what the affect on their psychological condition and future outlook this turns out to be. In this case, James Cracknell did have an insight to his competitiveness and did reach decisions regarding future directional pursuits. Contrasting this to Roz savage, she had already recognized a need for a life changing direction and seemed never to have set out on the crossing with a competitive outlook. I don't think that she achieved any "firsts" in her Atlantic crossing, and will only achieve a first if she completes her Pacific voyage to Australia and possibly then attempts to cross the Indian ocean.
This book is presented as a biographical narrative with each rower's perspective given for each time segment as voiced from their own version and perception of the event. Some readers won't like this format, as it is very similar to interspersed reading of two diaries.
I think that the reader should be familiar with ocean crossing conditions as experienced by rowers or small boat sailors in order to appreciate this book. Even with some knowledge it is hard to appreciate what these guys experienced, and I can't think of a way that the subject can be fully communicated in writing, particularly in a short-read mass market type publication.
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